As a wild apple species native to central Asia, Malus sieversii (Ledeb.) Roem. is distributed in a wide region covering most of the Tienshan Mountains. Malus sieversii is a useful genetic pool for apple breeding since rich with diversity. In this paper, we first describe the species range of this endangered species. We then describe an in situ reserve that has been established. We also investigated some reproductive characteristics of M. sieversii including pollen germination, seed dormancy, and seed viability. Both stratification and seedcoat removal efficiently released seed dormancy and accelerated seed germination. Pollen germination rate is around 60%. Our data suggest that injurious insects and human activities, rather than reproductive characters, limit the renewal of M. sieversii.
M.Y., F.L., H.L., X.Y., B.L., Y.Z., G.Y., and W.S. took part in field investigation and in situ conservation. M.Y., X.Y., and Y.Z. carried out pollen germination studies. M.Y., F.L., and W.Y. participated in seed germination analysis. H.L. drafted the manuscript. H.L. and G.Y. participated in the design of the study. W.S. designed and finalized the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
We thank Kang Liao (Xinjiang Agricultural University) for his cooperation in data analysis. We acknowledged Gayle Volk (USDA ARS -NCGRP) for her carefully improvement of the expression and English language. This study was supported by Agricultural Financial Special Fund of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China (WH000202).
These authors contributed equally to this article.
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